The newly completed roundabout at ther intersection of Laura and Liberty Avenues is the the third roundabout in Gasoline Alley. (Photo by MURRAY CRAWFORD/Advocte staff)

Construction of Red Deer’s latest traffic circle pushed back to 2023

The intersection of 40th Avenue and 19th Street is the No. 1 accident spot in the city

Construction of Red Deer’s latest traffic circle pushed back to 2023

The construction of a new traffic circle for the accident-prone intersection of 40th Avenue and 19th Street in Red Deer has been pushed back to 2023.

“We were hoping to get started on it this summer but the majority of the construction will be next year,” said Konrad Dunbar, the City of Red Deer’s engineering services manager, on Wednesday.

Design work for the project hasn’t been completed yet due to COVID-related delays, as well as some staff changes at the city, he added. While some site preparation could be started this summer, this isn’t expected to cause any driving detours or delays.

Dunbar hopes to see some financial benefits from waiting a year to start building the round-about.

The project — estimated to cost $8 million in 2021 — could be less prone to inflationary price spikes in 2023, he said. “We are expecting costs to come back down again,” as supply shortages from pandemic work shut-downs will be less of a factor.

City council was told last year that a new traffic circle would solve traffic delays and safety issues at 40 Avenue. and 19 Street — the No. 1 spot for serious accident collisions in the city, based on the amount of traffic it gets.

According to city traffic data, the intersection has insufficient capacity to deal with all of the vehicles going through it at peak times of the day. This is causing safety concerns, delays and congestion, Dunbar had reported.

He told city councillors that changing traffic light signals could only handle increased vehicle capacity for only three to five more years, so a traffic circle would be the most efficient, cost-effective longer-term solution.

City engineers considered the project a priority — especially since a complete rebuild is needed at that spot because of extensive deterioration of the underlying soils.

Another $22 million was approved by council last year for reconstructing a portion of 19th Street, which is expected to be done as the traffic circle is built.

Dunbar said no big engineering projects are planned this summer for the Northlands Drive connector route. He intends to go to city council in July with various options on how to proceed with that project.

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